03-19-07 - 3

We got some fresh Dungies last night (very end of the season, but they were huge, full of meat). Today I've been making a bisque from all the left over bits. It's the first time I've done this and I won't do it again. I've always told people making stocks at home is just not worth it, and this is even worse because the fishy crab bits are so stinky and you have to smash them up and skim them and you get bits of crab everywhere and it's a huge mess, and then there's straining and filtering and skimming and cheese cloth and omg so not worth it. Anyway, the resulting bisque is pretty nice.

I'll also probably never do crabs at home again. For one thing if I'm going to spend a fortune on some nice protein I'd much rather have a real good piece of beef or pork. For another thing, eating them is such a mess it's worth it to pay to do it at a restaurant. I used to really love crabs when I was a kid, I'd fly out to visit my grandma in Pennsylvania and we'd get Maryland Blue Crabs that were steamed and smothered in Old Bay. I think I just liked it because the eating is so fun, and I love that spicy Old Bay seasoning.

BTW my idea for a better crab bisque : reduce it so it's extra strong. Don't add the cognac and cream to finish like you normally would. Instead make a fluffy creme fraiche infused with chives and drop a dollop in the middle of the bisque, so it sort of starts to melt but stays semi-solid. Revision : that's retarded, the standard bisque method was delicious.

addendum : had bisque the night after with Salmon. I finally did the Salmon Jacques Pepin's slow cook way - you just toss it on a plate (with EVOO S&P) and stick the plate in a 200 degree oven for 45 minutes. The result is so soft and smooth and tender, perfectly rare, really probably the easiest way to make perfectly cooked fish.

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